Happy New Year to you all! Even though 2017 is only just beginning, I am excited for this year and next with regard to significant events happening in the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Community for people with little or no speech.
In May 2017, the AGOSCI Conference will be held locally in Melbourne, Victoria at the Grand Hyatt. AGOSCI is an inclusive group interested in enhancing the participation of all people with complex communication needs. The conference theme for 2017 is “Ready, Set, AACtion” and reflects the need to be ready for the arrival of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the effects this will have on the lives of children and adults with little or no speech. “Ready, Set, AACtion” will showcase the best products and services, the latest research and the most inclusive communication practices for people with little or no speech.
These four areas will guide the content of the conference:
- Living with an acquired communication disability
- Readiness for work, play and life
- Set for successful outcomes for communication and inclusion
- Inclusive mealtimes
I have been fortunate enough to attend many AGOSCI Conferences all over Australia over the past 15 years. These conferences are a great way to network with local people who use AAC, families, therapists and educators who have like-minded interests in communication. The program is usually full of interesting papers that will leave you spoilt for choice, and the trade display gives you the opportunity to see some of the newest resources and equipment in this space.
In July 2018, the ISAAC Conference (International Society of Augmentative and Alternative Communication) will be held at the Gold Coast. This will be the first time in its history that the Conference will be held “down under” and CIRC’s Communication Team couldn’t be more excited! The theme for the conference is “AACcess All Areas” and the Conference will be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. It is early days yet and a call for papers will be released soon, so keep your eyes peeled for an opportunity to submit and present some of your work, but if having co-chairs such as Meredith Allan, Jane Farrall, Gayle Porter, Kate Anderson and Sally Clendon is anything to go by, it is set to be one amazing conference!
Hope to see you on the dance floor at both of these event dinners!